How to Protect your Home Gadgets from Hacking

As technology advances, more and more home gadgets are becoming wifi enabled. It is great for convenience but also makes your devices vulnerable to hacking. Hackers can use your home’s wifi to gain access to any data transmitted over it—including, among other things, passwords and banking information. The good news is that you can bring some simple steps to secure your home’s wifi connection. We’ll show you how to accomplish it in a few simple steps.

Consider What You Need

Before you buy the latest Smart speaker thermostat, a thermostat, or a video doorbell, think about your preferences in keeping security and privacy in mind. A security camera may provide some protection; however, are you comfortable uploading your footage on the internet? Do you think that’s creepy or just an advantage? Find out what you want from a smart home and in which areas privacy will be your most critical factor. If you want to keep your data private, it’s probably better to use a smart speaker or thermostat that doesn’t connect to the internet. If you’re more concerned about security, then maybe consider a security camera that doesn’t require an internet connection. A video doorbell is somewhere in between these two areas.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

From the beginning, most routers utilize a model-specific name. They aren’t secure or use a standard password such as “admin,” making it easy for hackers to access your Wi-Fi at home and look around on the connected devices of your smart home.

The first thing that you must do is protect your Wi-Fi network by using an effective password. The method you use varies depending on the device, but the fundamentals are the same. Here’s how you can begin. If your router permits it, you can also change your SSID (Service Set Identification), the name you use to identify the connected Wi-Fi network (like PCMag_Home).

Be sure you’re using the most secure protocol available when you’re there. Most of the time, WPA2 will be the best option, but the latest routers will use the more secure WPA3 standards.

Update Firmware

Firmware is the software that runs your router and various other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. You can connect to your router’s firmware to modify the password and set different options.

Firms release bug fixes and other new features on the web for other devices connected to them. Some will even automatically update once you connect to Wi-Fi. 

Numerous devices require you to press or click the Update button to download the most current security patches. 

You can set your device to update on schedule when you’re willing to take the risk of downloading automatically from servers of third parties. If not, the best option is to schedule a reminder to regularly check your device for updates. Some of them have specific information about how to verify the firmware and make changes.

Replace Outdated Routers

You probably purchased the latest laptop or smartphone in the past few years. But what happens to your router? Has it been sitting on a desk for too long? If your Internet performance isn’t shaky and your security isn’t compromised, the devices you connect to are. A sagging router means old security protocols and a more accessible entry to bad actors.

The latest standard for home internet can describe as Wi-Fi 6 (and 6E). Here’s an explanation about whether you require Wi-Fi 6. If you need an upgrade to your router, look at PCMag’s roundups of the top routers, gaming routers, and Wi-Fi mesh networks.

Manage Your Account Passwords

Once your wifi network is secured, you must ensure the devices and services are connected. Most controlled smart devices are controlled by apps related to mobile devices, and you’ll have to establish an account for each.

Utilizing the same password for every account is convenient. However, it’s a security risk. If the account is compromised and the password is exposed, it could be a breach for hackers to gain passwords to all the other charges for which you used that password.

Instead, it would be best if you created a unique password that you can keep in mind, but others will not be in a position to guess. It is possible to employ the randomly generated password generator to create codes that are difficult to guess and use an account manager to store your passwords.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Secure passwords are one factor. However, Which can be taken a level higher by activating two-factor authentication for the applications that allow it. Meaning that even if a hacker does get access to the password you have entered, they will not be able to sign in with your login credentials without having the additional six-digit code used to verify your identity.

Check the security settings of the accounts you want to secure. Then, set it up using a connection to your mobile number or an authenticator application such as Google Authenticator or Authy. After logging in, these accounts will require a password and a second authentication method. Those could be a six-digit code that you send by text message or generated by an authenticator of your choice.

Split Up the Network

A new FBI warning(Opens the warning on the new screen) stated, “your refrigerator and your laptop shouldn’t be on one network. Secure your most private, sensitive data on a different device than other IoT gadgets.” For one thing, the moment a hacker accesses your refrigerator that is not secured, it is possible to hack into its wireless network and steal crucial data from your laptop and phone.

It is possible to avoid this by setting your devices on different networks. Most routers let you create a second guest network and can utilize connected home appliances. That will not only free the bandwidth needed to stream and browse, but it could also be a way to separate your IoT gadgets from the data you wish to safeguard.

If you become hacked, any virus infecting the devices in your home network will likely fail to make it to the jump(Opens with a new tab) and infect devices connected to your network.

Monitor Your Network

If you’re still worried about your network’s security, You can manually monitor who’s connected to your wifi. For instance, the software Wireless Network Watcher will reveal each device connected to your router, allowing you to check them against your own devices.

To further protect yourself from network weaknesses, we suggest purchasing a complete security solution to guard against any threat an intruder might try to infiltrate your home’s security.

But, some devices detect vulnerabilities in your network. Firewalla sells devices that permit users to monitor and control the network’s devices and actions. (We also awarded a Firewalla Purple our Editors’ Choice honors.) It also has Fingbox. Fingbox(Opens in the new tab) can identify weaknesses, block unfamiliar devices, and many other things.

Final thoughts

Taking the necessary precautions when securing your home network and devices is essential. While many people may be unaware of the dangers that come with insecure, intelligent homes, there are measures you can take to protect yourself. Utilize two-factor authentication, split up your networks, and monitor your devices for any vulnerabilities. If you’re still feeling uneasy about the security of your devices, consider purchasing a complete security solution to safeguard your data and privacy further.